With today’s adhesives, labels can be manufactured to provide permanent adhesion when applied or allow the label to be removed and, if needed, reapplied. When determining which type of label to use, it’s important to understand the uses and benefits of each.
Both permanent and removable labels can be produced using direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser, and inkjet printers, with clear, sharp images. They are available in semi-gloss, high-gloss, and matte finishes.
All adhesive labels are pressure sensitive, and both permanent and removable labels will perform better if properly applied.
- Apply the labels firmly and be sure to apply pressure over the entire label surface. Using a roller to apply pressure evenly over the label surface will ensure a secure bond.
- Apply labels to a clean, dry surface. Moist surfaces interfere with the adhesion and the label will not bond with the surface. If your surface is dusty or dirty, the label will adhere to the dust or dirt particles, not the surface of your product.
Designed for a one-time application, permanent labels use a strong adhesive that creates a strong, or permanent, bond between the label and the surface. The degree of “permanence” is determined by a combination of the adhesive, face material, surface application, environment, and time. The adhesive used for the label should provide the peel, tack, and shear required to provide a secure bond to the surface material while accommodating the environmental conditions for the application, such as resistance to heat, cold, moisture, chemicals, and solvents.
Most stock labels used a permanent adhesive.
If permanent labels are removed, they will leave an adhesive residue on the surface, may pull or tear the surface during removal, and the label itself may tear, leaving pieces of the label on the surface. This is commonly experienced when removing permanent labels from bottles – adhesive is left on the surface or the label cannot be completely removed, or removing a label from a box or carton – the surface of the cardboard is removed with the label.
No label is completely permanent, and time will diminish the effectiveness of the adhesive, as will moisture.
Permanent labels are used for applications that require a secure, one-time label such as:
- Shipping labels
- Box labels
- Container labels
- Bottle labels
- Packaging labels
- Envelope labels
- Identification labels
- Long term and permanent storage labels
- Safety labels & tags
- Equipment labels & tags
- Specimen and laboratory labels
Removable labels use specialized adhesives that provide a secure bond to the surface material yet allow the label to be removed without leaving adhesive residue, damaging the surface, or tearing the label. With the range of adhesives available today, removable labels can offer light provide light, temporary bonds to those that can withstand the rigors of shipping or product labeling and still be easy to remove without leaving residue or causing damage. In addition, some labels can be removed and re-used. Removable labels are more expensive than permanent labels.
Removable labels can be used with most surface materials. The adhesive used for the label should provide the peel, tack, and shear required to provide the adhesive bond to the surface material that meets the application requirements. Rougher surfaces allow for easier removal of the label, but do not allow for as secure a bond as smoother surfaces. In addition, most removable labels do not perform well in applications with exposure to moisture, heat, cold, or corrosive materials.
Over time, the adhesive used for removable labels begins to act more like a permanent adhesive and the label can become difficult to remove. It is important that the adhesive used provide easy removal for the period of time required for your application.
The applications for removable labels range from labeling office folders to attaching “use-now” coupons to retail products. Some of these applications include:
- Masking tapes
- Office labels
- Inventory labels
- Retail product & bottle labels & coupons
- Laboratory & sample labels
- Temporary equipment labels
- Labels for reusable containers and cartons
- Packing slips and shipping labels
Blanco Labels offers a wide selection of permanent and removable labels.
For detailed information, see thermal transfer labels, direct thermal labels, and inkjet and laser labels.
Blanco is known for the quality of our labels and our superior customer service – ensuring that your labels will meet your requirements.